Cleveland city council votes to put minimum wage increase on May ballot

CLEVELAND - A minimum wage hike in Cleveland is becoming closer to a reality.

City Council voted Monday night to let voters decide in a special election whether or not to increase the minimum wage. The special election will be held May 2, 2017.

The approved legislation states that beginning January 1st, following the approval of the ordinance, the minimum wage would go up gradually. The new minimum wage would be 12 dollars an hour, then would increase each year by 1 dollar until it reaches 15 dollars an hour.

Increases after that would be based on the cost of living.

Initially, the legislation asked for an increase to 15 dollars an hour, but city council rejected the push for the more than 80 percent increase fearing it could be bad for local businesses.

The Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, adopted new language making the increase more gradual, and the move seemed to sit well with council.

The push for an increase in Cleveland’s minimum wage has been going on for some time now and started when Raise Up Cleveland, a group supported by the SEIU, gathered enough signatures on a petition to bring this issue to light.

Right now, the current minimum wage is $ 8.10.

For more on the Cleveland minimum wage issue, click here.